But his tone is telling, sharp, like a shard of shrapnel jutting from his obvious wound. His proclamation against marriage is less about preference and more about protection. He wraps walls around his heart like an ACE bandage.
We think we’re ensuring a safe life, when instead we’re ensuring a banal one. Here is the irony: The road to mediocrity is just as treacherous as the roads to either success or failure.
Foes like cancer, unemployment, or the loss of loved ones fly hissing at whomever they choose. We cannot put up our hand to them and say, “Excuse me, Disaster, but I picked the safe path. Please visit someone on that rocky street.” We do not choose our life’s level of ease.
For Christians, our inability to mitigate risk is actually a safety net. By admitting we are not God, we leave room to trust the One who is. As the weight of broken dreams buckles our knees weak, we find ourselves kneeling at the feet of our Mighty Savior. We’re free to chase God-given desires with reckless abandon, because when we fall, it is into the Arms of Grace.
God does more than protect us from risk. He allows us to fall prey to it. He allows our hopes to shatter, our bodies to fail, His Son to die. And when murder, sickness, and heartache have done their worst, God uses His mighty thumb to press them into submission until the very thing that threatened to destroy us instead leads us to the greatest gift in existence… the intimate enjoyment of our Father.
The trash of this world is the compost that fertilizes God’s purposes. God doesn’t simply make beauty. He creates light in the darkness, grows trees from decay, draws life out of bloody wombs, and transforms us into His image through through our every hardship. We are free to fail. He shapes us by it. Uses it to draw us to Him. And we are free to succeed. Success is nothing more than His strength in our weakness.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10